The Timber Packaging and Pallet Confederation (TIMCON) has warned that shortages in the supply of small logs have reached an unprecedented level due to the ongoing combination of high global demand and supply scarcities.
The confederation has organized a general meeting to help its members, particularly manufacturers, understand and discuss a response to the latest developments in this area.
The meeting will include updates on UK timber supply, the state of the UK pallet and packaging market and global timber flows from a panel which includes Andrew Heald, technical director of CONFOR on UK timber supply; global timber flows by Hikki Vidgren of Pőyry Consulting; and Guy Watt of John Clegg Consulting; and an open forum discussion for members. It will take place at the Manchester Marriott hotel on March 14th. UK and Irish sawmillers and timber importers will also attend.
Stuart Hex, TIMCON general secretary, said: “We have monitored the escalating demand and supply issues for many months and our industry now faces a perfect storm of reduced inputs and higher prices for manufacturers and our customers.
“It is crucial that our industry stays well organized and that we communicate with one another and with our customers to mitigate the effects of this situation. The meeting on Manchester on March 14th will be an essential part of this process.
“In the meantime, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that timber still remains the most economical choice of raw material for manufacturing pallets and packaging. It is also the most environmentally friendly: it is reusable, repairable and recyclable and is a vital part of the circular economy.”
According to TIMCON, causes of the current timber issue are:
- High demand globally.
- High demand from China.
- Scandinavian timber flowing to construction in the US market.
- An unfavorable exchange rate caused by Brexit.
- Baltic supplies down due to unseasonably wet weather.
- Good UK demand.
- Subsidised biomass industry buying up small logs the packaging and pallet industry uses.
- Impact of the weather on the harvesting of home-grown timber.